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4.6 out of 5 stars
Live at the Main Point, 1975
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110 of 111 people found the following review helpful
If you are a long standing Bruce Springsteen fan it would be surprising if this "bootleg" album has not crossed your path some time in the last 30 years in one of its many guises. It has been previously titled "Prodigal Son At The Main Point - February 5th, 1975", "The Saint, The Incident & The Main Point Shuffle" and most famously "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star". What we have here is one of Springsteen's most famous live bootlegs recorded on the cusp of him becoming one of rock's great poets and icons, in short a fascinating document of evolving songs which are about to become legendary.

This is the great man shortly following Jon Landau's famous/infamous "Born to Run" proclamation that "I have seen the future of rock n roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen". Recorded live at the Main Point club in Brynmawr (yes the Welsh get everywhere), Pennsylvania, February 5th, 1975 and broadcast across the area on FM Broadcast WMMR - Main Point benefit show. Springsteen was at this gig still trailing new songs for Born to Run and thus we see the premiere of Thunder Road, actually called at that time Wings For Wheels and containing a very different verse and lyric structure. There are also pretty faithful roll outs of the early live versions of "Born To Run" and "Jungleland". There are in addition covers including a raved-up version of Harold Dorman's 1960 hit "Mountain Of Love.", and a brilliant take on Bob Dylan's "I Want You'. At the time of course many Springsteen supporters seemed to go out of their way to write off any connection between the music of these two great artists, well here it is in all its glory.

Perhaps the most special of the nicely spruced up recordings here are associated with one of Springsteen's most underrated album "The Wild. The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. It is your reviewers all time favourite "Boss" album that is packed with great music particularly two songs which would make any self respecting Springsteen top 10 - namely New York City Serenade and Rosalita. The latter is so well known because of the famous Old Grey Whistle Test video of one of Springsteen's Arizona concerts when he is mobbed on stage by female fan after female fan while he and the E Street Band demonstrate the true redemptive power of rock n roll. In this excellent live version he manages to introduce a segment of the "Theme from Shaft' and after all these years you still smile like a blithering idiot when he emphatically announces that "the record company Rosie, gave me a big advance". "New York city serenade" was always a long song but here it is turned into 20 minutes of rare beauty including a monologue and a building piano which climaxes as Bruce sings, "This is midnight in Manhattan, it's no time to get cute," with the force of nature that is the E Street Band rising up and flexing all their muscles. Frankly it is as good as it gets and worth the price of the album in its entirety.

Other great highlights include the opener "Incident On 57th Street" which is different to the album version and probably better. A very dramatic "For You" sees Springsteen at his most passionate while the encore Back in the USA would have clearly caused structural damage to the building! Live at the Main Point according to Uncut sees the transition from Bruce Springsteen to the "Boss". It also shows that only a short point into his career that he and the E Street Band had already become supreme masters of stagecraft. You don't need me to tell you what to do next...
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2011
I have little to add to Red on Black's detailed review, but this is certainly a magnificent concert and recording. Suki Lahav's violin makes some of these songs skin tingling. She was only with the live band for six months, and very little of her is on the studio recordings.

It is great to have an official version of this concert.
My concern if you haven't rushed out to buy this yet is how official it actually is, as it is not mentioned on Bruce's website.
I recommend you get it as soon as possible in case it disappears.

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The other reviews here are all correct. This is a contender for the best live album ever recorded - easily up there with The Who's "Live at Leeds" and Dylan's Manchester '66.

It may even be the best Springsteen album bar none. Certainly, if I could only have one, I'd have this one. Maybe this is because by far my favourite period for The Boss is 1974/75 - the "Wild, Innocent"/"Born to Run" era (I've always hated the horrible 80s production on albums like "Born in the USA", for example).

To these ears, some of the "Greetings From Asbury Park" songs sounded rather weedy in their original studio incarnations - here they get the full-blown E Street Band treatment and they really come alive. "Kitty's Back" (from "The Wild...") blows the studio version into small fragments. And the (then brand-new) "Born to Run" songs are a fascinating blend of the finished article and work-in-progress. Not to mention some inspired covers, of which Dylan's "I Want You" is the standout.

I initially feared that the violin would sound incongruous here, but it certainly does not - it absolutely MAKES several of the songs, in fact.

I'm sure this won't be available for long (doesn't even exist on the US Amazon site), so like everybody else says - just buy it, you won't be sorry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2011
This is absolutely stunning; it might well be the finest 'complete' Springsteen performance available on any format. From the spoken intro to the encore this is a must have for any fan. The intimate venue, the interplay with the audience and the perfect interspacing of covers with own material makes this a perfect example of what it was that made John Landau sit up and take notice. The pacing of the show, recorded in the days before there were too many hits in the back catalogue to allow the band to stretch themselves, is genius; mixing bombast with intimacy. For all those of us who weren't ready for Bruce until later here's what we missed. The icing on the cake is the packaging, the sleeve notes are informative, well written and complement the audio content perfectly. This is an unauthorised release that puts some of the authorised material to shame.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2011
I really enjoyed this. The early version of Thunder Road with different lyrics was interesting and some of the twiddly bits in the epic NYC Serenade are classic Boss at his creative best.

I have a few bootlegs from over the years and this stands up well in comparison. It just depends which era of his work you like most.

You probably have to be a Bruce saddo like me to get the most out of this, but if you can't make your mind up because you are not too familiar with his work past Born in the USA, buy it. It could change your life.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2011
The holy grail for many Springsteen fans is the discovery of a perfect audio quality version of the second half of this concert. Various bootlegs have made game attempts to deliver the whole of this legendary concert in top quality audio, but are always scuppered by the source material for the second half, and it would appear that this version suffers similarly. However, this does not detract from the fact that this is the greatest recorded concert, by any artist, EVER! A truly monumental performance from the one period in Bruce's career when it really was as much about the music as they lyrics. Superb arrangements of classic early material, topped off by the incredible extra dimension supplied by Suki Lahav's violin. 1975 is a unique year in Springsteen's performing career, as it is the one year where you can hear the transition from the loose,funkier sound of his earlier shows to the more hard-edged rock sound that would set the template for the future. This concert perfectly captures the fusion of the two sound styles, and is all the better for it. My particular favourite is the stunning re-arranged version of New York City Serenade (just as the audio quality deteriorates!!) which comprehensively demonstrates that here is a singer with real soul oozing from every pore. Also particularly noteworthy is the real thought and passion applied to the four cover versions - a clear sign that here is a performer utterly immersed in music and its history.

Although I have focused on the poorer sound quality elements of the recording, I should emphasise the sound qaulity on the first half of this recording is nigh-on perfect; and so versions of Incicent on 57th St, E Street Shuffle, Wings for Wheels and Dylan's I Want You are worth the price of this CD alone. An absolutely essential purchase for anyone with even a passing interest in Springsteen's music.

Hats off to a valiant attempt by ChromeDreams, but this performance is desperately crying out for an official release. I, and many others, keep hoping that day will finally come!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An amazing recording. It made me remember why I revered Bruce Springsteen in my teenage years before Born to Run was unleashed. The atmosphere generated by the band shines through and the unfamilar arrangements including live strings are simply incredible. Superb sound quality throughout. Thank you to Amazon for making this product available. As the first excellent review says -what are you waiting for? Essential
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2013
Just thought I'd contribute a less than 4 or 5 star review to add a bit more weight to the one review that mentions the awful sound quality on the second disc of this set. It is BAD. Not unlistenable, but if you've bought this expecting to be able to hear a crystal clear 20 minute version of New York City Serenade, prepare to be very disappointed. Yes, the performance is great from the start to finish and the quality of disc 1 (and the first 8 mins of disc 2) is spot on, but after that it drops drastically. Think bad audience recording, but without the audience chatter as it's such a small venue, and you'll have an idea of what it sounds like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2011
Scott Rosie covered everything really with a great spot-on review. This is brilliant stuff. Adding Steve on guitar was a great next step. It was onward and upward from this point. My only difference of opinion is that, for me, Hammersmith '75 is Bruce's finest live recording but as I was there I guess I'm biased. Amazing to think that in 3 years he would be doing the Darkness tour. Buy this and you won't be sorry!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2011
This was originally a radio broadcast, where they taped the show on reel to reel tapes and taxied them to the radio studio, the sound is better than if they had used a phone line, and it is better than if it were a cassette recorder in the audience. It is a live show and at the time Bruce was at his best live, I think that the crowd adds to the performance but that may be a matter of personal preference.
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